Dementia behavioral symptoms like aggressiveness, pacing and wandering, may not be treatable with medical marijuana pills, a new study claimed published online in the medical journal Neurology.
Geke A.H. van den Elsen, a doctor at Radboud university medical center in Nijmegen, Netherlands and lead study author said that the study results, the largest behavioral symptoms analysis study by far, were priceless because any evidence of the effectiveness and safety of the use of medical marijuana are scarce.
But, researchers were able to find that the dosage used in the clinical trial was well tolerated and safe.
Researchers random selection of 50 participants with dementia and behavioral symptoms receive 1.5 mg. of medical marijuana or a sample pills 3 times daily for a 3 week period, which contained tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main chemical responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana. The study depth was changed in scores on a behavioral symptoms test called Neuropsychiatric Inventory, evaluated at the beginning of the study and after a period of two and three weeks.
The test results showed improvement for the medical marijuana and placebo users, but no noteworthy difference in the scores of the two groups. There was also no changes in the two groups for participants’ quality of life, everyday living activities, pain intensity and pain-related behavior.
Van den Elsen said progresses in the placebo group may be due to a number of factors, including support and attention from the personnel, patients’ expectations and trainings of personnel in nursing homes.
Participants in the two groups have similar number of mild to moderate side effects. But no serious side effects in both groups.
Since the side effects were only mild to moderate, there is a possibility that a higher dose may be tolerable, and maybe even beneficial, van den Elsen said.